PESHAWAR - Women rights’ activists voiced concern over failure of certain political parties in allotment of 5 per cent tickets for general seats to women and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to clear ambiguity about the status of such parties in the general election.

Speaking at a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Saturday, Shabina Ayaz, a representative of Aurat Foundation, a non-government organisation (NGO), said the ECP had asked the political parties to allot at least 5 per cent of general seats’ tickets to women.

She said that as per data of the ECP, Pakistan Muslim League Eagle group had allotted 4.9 per cent of general seats’ tickets to women candidates, followed by Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek, which allotted 4 per cent of the tickets, while Qaumi Watan Party allotted only 3.2 per cent of general seats ticket to women candidates. She said that Tehreek-e-Labbaik had allotted zero per cent general seats’ tickets to women.

She said that despite violation of the code of conduct for the general election, the ECP allotted them election symbols, so it should explain the status of these political parties in general elections. Similarly, the political parties fielded women candidates in those constituencies wherein the parties had no vote bank, she said.

Flanked by Neelum Toru, chairperson Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women, right activists Saima Munir and Amna Durrani, Shabina Ayaz said that they had stressed the ECP to ensure allotment of at least 10 per cent general seats’ tickets to women with condition to field women in those constituencies wherein the political parties could become victorious in the elections. But the demand was not accept, she added.

On the occasion, she stressed the ECP that the result of the count (Form-45), the Ballot Paper Account (Form-46) should be made public on the evening of the polling day. She also called for separate count of male and female voters. She urged the Election Commission to take pre-emptive measures to avoid harassment incidents of women and take all possible arrangements to prevent inconvenient to female voters on the polling day.

Speaking on the occasion, the KP-CSW chairperson Neelum Toru said that the commission and Aurat Foundation had entered into an agreement to support women participation in 4 districts of KP, including Peshawar, Kohat, Swabi and Bannu. She also said that the Aurat Foundation would extend technical assistance to KP-CSW to constitute committees on status of women under article E-8. She said that the committees would help women in the targeted districts.

Shabina Ayaz also said that the organisation was determined to use the opportunity to ensure women’s participation in maximum number in the upcoming general elections. She said that the training sessions would be conducted for members of the KP-CSW, DCSWs and civil society organisations to enable them to monitor pre-election activities and improve knowledge about the importance of women participation in the electoral process.